Meter in the Old Khotanese Book of Zambasta

  • Doug Hitch

The Book of Zambasta (Z) is unique in at least three ways: it is the longest extant text in Khotanese, it is the only Khotanese Buddhist text not translated from Sanskrit but composed in the Middle Iranian language, and it is the only Khotanese text in which the akṣaras are arranged neatly in four columns. Additionally, while some other texts, all translations, appear to have metrical components, Z is, with the exception of colophons, entirely in meter. The author of Z had a keen sense of meter and one is constantly impressed by the skill at which he kept true to both meter and meaning. Read more